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Portland's Vigor Industrial buying largest drydock

Vigor Industrial is buying what will be the largest floating drydock in the country. It will stationed at the company's Swan Island location.

The drydock — which is used to maintain and repair a wide range of ships — is bring bought from Daoda Marine Heavy Industry Company of China for $40 million. It is 960 feet long, with an inside width of 186 feet and a lifting capacity of 80,000 long tons.

“We decided now is the time to buy because demand to service large vessels is growing and large drydock capacity in proximity to the US West Coast has diminished,” said Vigor CEO Frank Foti.

The new drydock will be 300 feet longer than the largest drydock Vigor currently owns. It will be one and half times wider and will be able to lift more than triple the weight.

According to the company, the additional capacity will allow Vigor to service the incoming generation of the US Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC) dry cargo/ammunition ships, which are replacing some smaller MSC ammunition, combat stores and fuel ships.

In addition, the drydock will be large enough to service private vessels, including post-Panamax cargo ships and cruise ships. The increased capacity will also help Vigor meet growing demand from the Arctic as oil and gas exploration and other ship operators take advantage of longer ice-free summers.

Demand for the drydock is expected to increase because half a dozen of such facilities have gone out of service in the Pacific region in the past decade.

DDHI will build the drydock at its facility in Jiangsu Provence, China, for delivery by March 2014. It will be towed to Portland in three pieces for assembly, and its first job will likely be to prepare Vigor’s largest Portland-based drydock for use at Vigor’s Seattle facility. This would provide the Seattle shipyard with a new capacity to service Panamax-sized vessels.

“We are thrilled that Vigor chose us as a partner for this major capital investment,” said Victor Huang, Vice President of DDHI. “Our world-class facilities and experience allow us to provide the best quality drydock at the most competitive price.”

“We look forward to working with DDHI on this critical project,” Foti said. “The new drydock will allow us to meet future demand, grow our business and put more people to work in the Pacific Northwest.”

Vigor Industrial is a leading provider of shipbuilding, ship repair and other industrial services in Oregon, Washington and Alaska. More information is available at its website, vigorindustrial.com